Kärdla church on the island of Hiiumaa was rededicated Wednesday, Jaanipäev, with the prime minister in attendance. The restoration work and saving the church from potential collapse cost just over €1 million, over a two-year period, using the support of the state, private donors, and the municipality, and now the building can be used as a place of worship and concert venue all year round.
The church has got a new roof, doors and windows, and a heating system. The interior of the building has been repaired, reports ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera".
The temple was rededicated by the Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK) Urmas Viilma.
Compared with the situation a few years ago, where pastors and church leaders faced the twin dangers of a possible falling roof or collapsing floor, the current view is different. "We had a roof that was in a dangerous position. We were afraid that the rafters might give in, and we couldn't get up to the pulpit for quite a several years, plus the floor was in a precarious state, to the extent we were afraid of falling," described Tiit Harjak, the leader of EELK Kärdla St John's congregation.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) wrote on his social media account that it was an honor to attend such a solemn service at the newly renovated Kärdla church. "Each time a church is renewed, it is a testament to the strength of the local community. Furthermore, such a great act always represents the values that unite our society. Thank you, all the leaders and supporters of the renovation! Congratulations and good luck to the whole community in the future."
The restoration of the church, founded in the 19th century, took two years. Enn Kunila, an entrepreneur and board chair of drinks company Liviko, has been associated with Hiiumaa for 30 years and is one of the leaders in the restoration of Kärdla Church. According to Kunila, Kärdla Church also has very good acoustics and it suits well as a concert venue.
"All the concerts that were done before the renovation went with great success, but now that the possibilities have significantly expanded, we can also give concerts in winter. Kärdla has finally got the opportunity to do Christmas concerts and hold Christmas services here. I think it is a big step forward," said Kunila.
Wednesday's ceremony had a smaller number of participants due to current, leftover coronavirus restrictions. When these restrictions are lifted, the church's restorers plan to hold a special event for the donors.
Editor: Katriin Eikin Sein